Big Unit Gem Thrills TV Accountants


Contributors: Mike Farrell, Linda Haugsted, Steve Donohue.

Big Unit Gem Thrills TV Accountants

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy (the Big Unit) Johnson got some unexpected backup during his bid for a perfect game against the Atlanta Braves last Tuesday — about 400 TV and radio accountants.

They were in town for last week’s Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association/Broadcast Cable Credit Association annual conference in Atlanta. On the last of three days, attendees were treated to tickets to the ball game, courtesy of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

Although a rainy afternoon threatened cancellation, the skies cleared in time for the 7:30 p.m. game, where Johnson became the oldest pitcher (at 40 years, 7 months) in major league history to toss a perfect game. The Diamondbacks won, 2-0.

Turner Broadcasting senior VP, controller and chief accounting officer John Kampfe, who attended, said he didn’t see any BCFM/BCCA attendees keeping a scorecard during the historic contest. But they were enthusiastic just the same.

“I would imagine that half the people didn’t realize he was pitching a perfect game until the seventh or eighth inning,” Kampfe said. “But by the ninth inning, everyone in the place was aware of it. For the last out, everyone was standing.”

As a service to the number crunchers, here are some vital stats: 117 pitches, 87 strikes, 13 strikeouts. The last pitch was a 98 mph fastball that pinch-hitter Eddie Perez swung at and missed for the 27th out.

Kampfe said it would have been better had the perfect game been recorded by the Braves, but it was still an extraordinary experience either way.

“A perfect game was certainly a perfect way to end the conference.”

New England Tour For Cablers in July

In a happy scheduling confluence this year, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Summit in Boston starts Sunday, July 18, and ends Wednesday, July 21.

The popular New England cable show (the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association conference), in Newport, R.I., picks up from there, starting on Wednesday, July 21, and concluding Friday, July 23.

So pack a big bag and don’t forget the tennis racquet. Lobster bibs, though, are optional.

Beastly Bad Luck For Brilliant Show

If only they knew then what they know now. BBC America has been informed by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences that its acclaimed series The Office won’t be able to add to “best series” and “best actor” Golden Globe wins by winning an Emmy this fall.

Due to a series of circumstances worthy of a series script itself, the comedy is ineligible.

Emmy comedy-series rules used to require that at least eight episodes of a show be produced and aired in order for it to be considered a series. Because U.K. import The Office produced just six episodes each of its two “seasons,” producers figured it would never be able to compete in the U.S. Emmy awards.

So they shipped off Episode 1 of Season 2 to the International Emmy Awards.

Here’s the rub: The ATA rules committee recently changed the regulations so a show of six or more episodes can compete as a series.

Great for The Office — except for other rules intended to prevent award-show double dipping.

Because one episode of The Office is in international competition, it can’t be used for a U.S. Emmy campaign. So BBC America has, in effect, a five-episode show that can’t compete.

“It’s regrettable,” BBC America spokesman Matt Marshall said. The Office was the network’s only U.S. Emmy entry.

Oceanic Sends Hug To 'Idol’ Who Fell

Jasmine Trias, Hawaii’s favorite daughter when it came to American Idol, was voted off the talent-pageant show last week after celebrity judge Simon Cowell’s harsh rebuke of her performance made her cry.

Trias got on the show — and made the final three — after winning on Road to Fame, a show on Oceanic Time Warner Cable, the Hawaii cable system. Oceanic used her winning entry as a promo to recruit talent for Road to Fame, but stopped airing it around the time Trias made Idol’s final 12, Oceanic vice president of marketing Alan Pollock told us.

“We, like all of Hawaii, are very proud of Jasmine and take special pride in discovering her before the rest of the country has,” Pollock said.